Saturday, December 3, 2016

You need to be afraid...

career fear scared
Traveling north during a recent early winter storm I was able to keep the truck out of the ditch and generally pointing the direction I was headed.  Two winters ago I was following a truck pulling a trailer with four snowmobiles (snow machines) that was traveling too fast.  Four wheel drive is a dangerous thing for all the freeway NASCAR drivers.  As the vehicle lost control it entered the center ditch the snowmobiles went airborne and landed in the southbound lane.  The truck and trailer were deeply buried in half a winter's snow. Never have four snowmobiles flown into my lane.  I have thought about deer, small animals., wrong-way vehicles, moose and airplanes but never four airborne snow machines.  My guess is that first thing that would happen is I'd quickly wonder if they were SkiDoos or the Minnesota-based Polaris machines.  It would be scary.

Listening to NPR interview a gentleman who had written a column for the San Francisco Gate for thirty-five years.  He wrote a column three days a week.  Many times he stared at the screen with a two-hour deadline, but he was good.  One comment he made was "If you have never been scared in your job you are probably in the wrong job."  During the gig I have to admit I was never scared.  I was methodical, thorough and competent.  There were indicators that it was not as challenging as I wished.

Facing the unknown is OK.  We need to have more of a challenge than just the unknown.  If you've worked through every scenario on every big project you're good.  We need the unexpected.  Since leaving the gig I've challenged myself many times. Today I took on a project I'd never done.  Going into it confidently I left feeling damn good.  All the right tools accompanied me and there was only one predicted trip to the hardware store.  It's four hours later and I am afraid that I might have missed one component.  It's sort of like losing one lug nut on a six hole rim...a little bit scary; that's good.

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